By Everett Goldner
As I go from month to month, sometimes having Alexander lessons with Leland regularly, sometimes more infrequently, I often think about how the minute adjustments add up in the long run. Right now it’s been several weeks since my last session, so I’m not feeling the immediate effects of the work, there are, if I take a few moments to notice, benefits that have stayed with me from the accumulated sessions I’ve had over the past fourteen months.
Where do they manifest? The most obvious spot to me is at the base of my spine, where the back meets the buttocks. Even if I hunch over to do something manual, like writing (like I’m doing right now), I don’t feel hunched the way I would have before Alexander. I can feel a suppleness in that area no matter what angle my body’s at, and if I do feel a bit of a hunch, it’s simple to relax the area and let it expand – and it simply feels good to do that.
This feeling of expansion moves up the back until it does encounter some resistance or friction – around the middle of my spine. In this area, I still tend to feel the “old” discomfort and awkwardness that I felt (pervasively) before I began Alexander. But it’s interesting to see how these two areas – one very comfortable, the other not – co-exist next to each other. It’s as if the way I inhabit my body has been partially changed for good and all by long-term Alexander work.
Like all real change, it’s incremental, sometimes invisible to the eye – but it adds up. This subtlety of change is really quite miraculous to watch from the inside, since we tend not to notice at all those things happening right underneath our own skin.